The Ugly Duckling

C Theatre perform Hans Christian Andersen's much-loved children's story about the tough life of a little misfit cygnet trying to fit in in a world which only judges him on his outer appearance rather than his good heart and noble spirit.The charming plot is a family favourite and sure to keep children rapt, as it has done for generations. However, the company's attempt at ‘enchanting’ children’s theatre sadly falls short of the mark due to basic performance mistakes which could be easily rectified. Enunciation was poor and despite the stage being in a thrust format, the actors often failed to address the young audience sitting at the sides of the stage. During the 50-minute show, the children at the side who could sustain interest spent their time trying to crane their necks to see and hear the action while the others became increasingly fidgety and distracted.Although The Ugly Duckling suggests a great amount of potential fun at the opening, the performance quickly descends into laziness and the direction lacks creativity. Staging is simple and boring, and many characters felt underdeveloped and haphazardly improvised (aside from Mother Duck, the Cat and the Rooster). Some aspects showed promise but were rarely capitalised upon, such as Toad's talents as a musician and tap-dancer. New characters brought silly voices and funny faces but were largely indistinguishable from each other - hence the prevailing unrest amongst the key audience, whose average age was around five.The script is delightful and peppered with laughs for children and adults alike, yet the important ending felt very rushed and overlooked the moral message of the play.Whilst The Ugly Duckling is not awful, there is children's theatre in Edinburgh that is better developed and far more exciting to keep your little ones entertained and enchanted.

Reviews by Stephanie Bartlett

The Blurb

Hans Christian Andersen's tale of the unhappy duckling who grows into a beautiful swan and discovers that true beauty always lies within. Storytelling theatre to enchant and delight children and grown ups of all ages!